September 29th, 2016
It’s time for Ottawa to put lives before profits
Canada is now the second-largest arms dealer to the Middle East, including to countries with poor human rights records like Libya, Sudan and Saudi Arabia - but there is currently no parliamentary oversight of Canadian arms exports.
That is why the NDP is calling for a multi-partisan committee on arms exports - one empowered to examine all aspects of Canada’s arms exports regime, now and in the future.
Polls show that most Canadians disapprove of arms deals with human rights abusers, but the Liberal government is continuing to allow the export of billions of dollars in arms sales to countries with some of the worst human rights records in the world.
Canadian weapons exports have nearly doubled over the last ten years, but details on these exports remain scarce. A new committee would establish oversight and increase transparency to ensure that Canadian-made weapons are never used to crush dissent or harm civilians.
For too long, Canadians have had too little information about arms exports to countries with questionable human rights records.
Canadians deserve to have a say in who Canada does business with, and under what conditions. It’s parliament’s role to ensure this is done right.
The NDP motion calling for oversight of Canadian arms exports will come to a vote in the House of Commons in the coming days.